Proverbs 21

Proverbs of Solomon, Continued (21:1–31)

Verse 17: He who loves pleasure, wine and oil will become poor, not rich; he will waste his money on them. The pleasure. . .wine and oil stand for the things of this world; if we love them, we shall become not only materially poor but spiritually poor as well (see 1 Timothy 6:10; 1 John 2:15–17).

Verse 18: This proverb teaches that the righteous will be delivered from trouble, and their trouble will come upon the wicked instead; the wicked will serve as a ransom to free the righteous (see Proverbs 11:8).

Verse 20: A wise man stores up wealth; a foolish man squanders it.

Verse 21: See Proverbs 3:1–4; Matthew 5:6; 6:33.

Verse 22: This proverb teaches that wisdom is more effective than strength. The weapons of the wise (godly) man are spiritual, not physical, and they have the power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Verses 25–26: The sluggard craves for things, but he will not work for them; his craving remains unsatisfied and thus torments him. The righteous man does not crave things for himself; he acquires them so that he can meet the needs of others.

Verse 27: See Proverbs 15:8.

Verse 28: A liar destroys both himself and the one who believes his lie.

Verse 29: A wicked man puts up a bold front; he refuses to admit any wrong and arrogantly pursues his wicked schemes.

Verse 31: Victory is granted by the Lord, but we are expected to use the resources—the “horses”—God gives us to wage the battle (see Exodus 17:10–13; Esther 4:12–14 and comments).

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